Skip to main content

Biotech company Benevolent AI is cutting half of its workforce in a cost-reduction strategy that will affect 180 staff.

The AI drug discovery firm, run by a former advisor to David Cameron, Baroness Shields, is looking to save around £45m with the strategic shift, which includes layoffs as well as scaling back its lab facilities.

Along with the staff cuts, it was announced that CFO Nicholas Keher had resigned from the company to “pursue other business interests”.

Shields said: “Embarking on this process requires difficult decisions, particularly concerning our valued colleagues.

“Our new strategic direction ensures we maximise our portfolio and leverage the knowledge and expertise we have built up in recent years to meet this moment of opportunity for AI in biopharma.”

Along with the cost reduction measures, Benevolent AI will also look to roll out new revenue-generating products.

The London-based company listed on the Euronext stock market in Amsterdam last year through a blank-cheque merger.

The cuts at Benevolent AI come during a difficult period for UK tech job security. Recent firms that announced layoffs recently include VR firm Improbable, Just Eat, EV firm Arrival, and Deliveroo.

A survey from CW jobs published earlier this year found that the majority of UK tech workers (53%) were preparing for layoffs.